There’s been some minor commotion when it comes to the Australian stance on bitcoin. In short, people aren’t happy (just take a look at the recent news from Coinjar).
And now, we’re learning that the Australian Senate is planning to launch an inquiry into bitcoin and other digital currencies. Specifically, the Senate Economic References Committee will be conducting the examination.
Sam Dastyari, the Committee’s chair, is responsible for spearheading the inquiry.
So, just what the inquiry cover?
According to ITNews, the purpose of the inquiry is to take a look at what options the Australian government has when it comes to digital currencies, including its potential use for criminal endeavors. Moreover, the inquiry will look into its regulation. Taxation is on the agenda, too. The Committee will decide whether or not the Australian Tax Office’s recent tax guidance on bitcoin is the most practical approach (hint: it’s not).
That tax guidance, by the way, calls for tax payers to classify their bitcoin holdings as non-currency assets. Here in the United States, the Internal Revenue Service has said that bitcoin should be classified as property for Federal tax purposes.
What comes of the inquiry could very well decide the future of digital currency in the land down under, so its importance to the community — as you can imagine — is great. It could also be the catalyst that starts similar inquiries around the world, such as here in the United States.
The first sitting day in March 2015 has been labeled as the deadline for the Committee’s findings.
As more becomes available on the topic, I’ll keep you updated.